...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Linkwood 20 year old 1991-2011 Berry Bros & Rudd, cask 10343

Usually when Florin sends me samples, they get filed away for thirty-eight years. But for reasons unknown I immediately opened the 2oz sample bottle of this Linkwood 20yo and split its contents between one glencairn and one 1oz bottle. I remember enjoying the drink and considering breaking into many of my samples to do the same. I haven't, but I should.

There may have been two releases from this cask. Whiskybase lists a cask strength version sold through K&L — though I have my doubts about it since "Sovereign" is a Laing brand, not a Berry Brothers brand. The other release, which I know exists because I saw it with my own eyes at Total Wine & More back in the day, was bottled at 46%abv and is what I'm reviewing today.

I tried it side-by-side with a 26 year old Linkwood (to be reviewed on Wednesday Thursday). They were very different whiskies.

Blurry bottle on the right
Distillery: Linkwood
Owner: Diageo
Region: Speyside (Lossie)
Independent Bottler: Berry Bros & Rudd
Age: 20 years (1991-2011)
Maturation: ???
Cask#: 10343
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
(Thanks, Florin!)

Mango nectar. lychee, orange zest and Skittles on the nose. A little bit of oak and chile pepper fumes in the background. Passionfruit cream and grapefruit juice appear after 20+ minutes. The simpler palate shows lemons, limes and vanilla. Smaller notes of honeydew and mango. It's mildly sweet, tangy and peppery. The finish is long, though sharper and narrower than the palate. Lots of citrus, with smaller notes of salt and milk chocolate.

DILUTED TO ~40%abv, or < 1tsp of water per 30mL whisky
On the nose there are gummi bears and oranges over a layer of French oak-like toasted spices. The palate has become saltier and woodier. Mostly citrus, vanilla and sugar. It finishes lightly sweet and citric.

I wish I hadn't passed over this bottle all those years ago. I'm a sucker for fruity whisky, and this one delivers. It's not complex, it doesn't swim well and it starts to lose focus in the finish, but those are small gripes this time around because the whisky is such a pleasant drink. It's the sort of whisky that one does not lose interest in halfway down the bottle. I could use more of those.

Availability - all gone
Pricing - ???
Rating - 86 (neat only!)